They just want to send a clear message that pirating is OK :)
Is this still true for the latest release of Tidal? Because if so I'm stunned.
It's one thing to take inspiration from competitors, but to essentially copy the existing design of your greatest (and very well established) rival.. that just seems.. well, stupid.
Yep, I'm listening to it right now (trying just the 30 free days), looks exactly like the screenshot posted. It was the first thing I noticed when opening the app. It's a total copy, but amusingly is poorly executed. There is a total lack of refinement and polish on most of the text sizes, iconography, and UI elements.
That tends to be the case with blatant ripoffs.
I actually think this was a fairly smart move for two big reasons:
- Don't need to relearn navigation paradigms from a service you're used to - makes switching easier for people.
-Takes design out of the equation for why to subscribe to it, instead the focus is on the artists and sound quality (and cost obv).
I think your first point is totally valid.
On point two: Personally I'd be less likely to use a product that looks like a knock-off of a product I'm already using. The design is the first thing you come in contact with before you even hear a single song. I'm not saying they have to reinvent the wheel, but having a distinct design separates one product from the other and signifies that there is something different or that they have more to offer than their competitor. If I open an app that looks like the store-brand version of Spotify I'd at least expect a discount not a $10 markup.
Totally and personally, I'm with you on that, but feel like that may be a fairly designer-centric viewpoint. I don't even play mobile games but I downloaded Alto's Adventure just for the art direction :P
About a year and a half ago Spotify released an iOS app that basically "ripped off" the app we designed at rdio a year and a half before that. At first I felt sad when I saw the Spotify app, sad that people just copied and didn't try to find their own new way... But it doesn't matter. I'm sure many designers would argue against this, but your UI is not your product, it's the product of millions of decisions made by millions of people over the past 20+ years.
So what if it looks the same... they all look the same, every designer is just an assembler of ideas they've seen in the past. Their ego can get in the way sometimes and make them think they made something up from nothing, but they didn't.. they just found an interesting combination, and I guarantee someone out there looks at their design and says "that's a rip-off of ____ that I designed years ago."
There are no "rip-offs" in design. None of us invented this stuff.. we are ALL ripping it off.
Plus in UI design, you’re always toeing the line between familiarity and innovation. Stray too far from established norms, and you’ll probably alienate people.
From a business point of view, I can’t see there being many negative repercussions for matching this closely, and as mentioned, plenty of positive ones.
fwiw, the structure of the Spotify interface has always been one of the major reasons I’ve stuck with Rdio. The business-y reasons proposed by Willie Morris are the only reasons that make sense to me as to why they’d want to copy it, because it can’t have been because the Spotify interface is actually nice.
Also, didn’t Spotify get accused of copying Rdio when they overhauled last year? I guess that proves your point, Grant.
I still think there is a difference between assembling ideas and copying. It's the difference between drawing and tracing.
Couldn't agree more. I find it amusing how upset people get about things like this, especially when it comes to web design...then you look in their portfolios and see a bunch of bootstrap template looking sites with hamburger buttons and faded full screen lifestyle images and centered three column blocks of text with icons on top. What do you call a ripoff that has happened so many times you can't remember who did it first? A trend, and after long enough, a standard.
Is this totally lazy and are they missing out on making something even better than spotify by copying? Yes. But if you dissect the spotify design there is nothing original or proprietary about it. Just a bunch of the current trends combined to solve a business problem.
Your last line is a bit of a non-sequitur. No one is asking Tidal to reinvent the button, of course there are rip-offs.
It's one thing to draw inspiration from Dribbble for your design, or to even copy the style of another design, but this is an app that looks so similar you could almost confuse the two.
Tidal didn't need to change the placement of items; there is obviously a good reason to have Playlists on the left, the Play Controls on the bottom, etc -- that isn't what's causing this furore, rather it's the shameless similarities in the visual details.
I don't think this is the same thing as assembling other ideas, and if it is then we might as well all go home and let project managers use an automated UI generator to go with their automated logo creators.
It's a copy, plain and simple. You have a lot of choices when designing a music service interface.
You are not 'locked into' any of the decisions we have seen here. Stop trying to justify it. They took the easy road and copied the ideas. Which is ironic for what the platform stands for.
I don't think anybody is arguing about whether they copied or not. We all agree it's the exact same thing. I think the debate is about whether any design is actually original, or if that's even something we should be striving for. A product with a truly original interface would be impossible to use. Without repeated trends and conventions in form, the user has no idea what to do. Imagine being the first website to think of using an image as a link. How the hell would anyone make the connection that clicking an image would lead to a specific action without seeing that pattern before? Fast forward 15 years and now anybody using an image as a link today would be copying off of you. Is that bad or is it just progress?
I get the argument, and I agree with you. I suppose I was shouting out into the void at the person defending WiMP vs Tidal vs Spotify... and upon thinking about it more, I believe some of the thoughts are misguided.
Sure, interaction models need to be evolved and they grow slowly. There is the line between stealing (some call it 'inspiration') and inventing that you have to hit exactly right for people to claim it is actually innovative. But this design edges more towards all 'inspiration' without anything particularly new.
I think that because the design and functionality is so similar to Spotify, to most people it shows a lack of effort. Mix that with the message the backers are trying to promote, and you get a bit of a shitstorm of inauthenticity. They are not providing us with a superior product, it is an obvious money grab from the start... and that's why people are up in arms about the design.
If it was a music streaming platform that copied Spotify's design and donated all proceeds to charity, would people be so angry?
I know I wouldn't care as much... ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I'll keep thinking on it Ü
Tidal came out of WiMP, which was redesigned in Spring 2014. WiMP has a very bright design language, and uses a purple color.
So Tidal is basically a skin of WiMP, and the design decisions that where taken during the design process, wasn't to copy Spotify. In fact its standard UI elements that is used, and nothing revolutionary about a grid of pictures with icon overlays.
I realize that people dont know this, but i think that critique should be realistic and take some different things into account. Even though it might not be the best design, there was/is a team of designers behind it and not Jay-Z.
"Now someone just needs to remind Jay-Z that UI designers are artists too."
I say, someone needs to remind themselves that Jay-Z didn't design Tidal, and that the designers that did, most likely didn't aim to make a "...shameless copy of Spotify..."
Written by one of the designers behind WiMP, before Tidal even existed.
The grid with icons I could give you. But pieces like the artist pages are way too similar to be standard UI elements : http://d.pr/i/16bmC
That combined with the layout, color scheme and other components amounts too an eerily similar interface.
Either way, Im not mad at Tidal or anything for "ripping it off". It just makes it feel lazy and derivative. They will really need to step up their game to steal business from Spotify.
But is this something new? You see designers getting inspiration from other designers all the time, that what DesignerNews and Dribbble for example is widely used for.
Not that i want to "legalize copying", but there is no clear distinction between getting inspired and copying, or what some like to call stealing.
I think its funny how much people are focusing on "it looks like Spotify", instead of giving the team behind some useful feedback that could help them improve the experience.
Yeah but its a fair point right? Spotify is the main app that Tidal needs to steal market share from. Its only natural to compare it.
Honestly, if it were not charging more for the service I would be more inclined to give them latitude to improve. Either way, Im gonna give it the old college try for a month and see if its manages to improve anything.
Personally i use Spotify, i guess i just like the service and brand more than WiMP/Tidal.
I bet i cant even hear the difference in the sound quality..
But the critique of the service has focused a lot on one part of the design, and most end up saying "Those bastards, blatantly ripping of Spotify, with no shame or pride in their craft" (All of those are thing i have seen on Twitter etc.)
I think thats too low and draws similarities to how things go viral on Facebook, with no actual knowledge of the context.
But that might just be where we are going..
Are you sure Jay-Z didn't design it? He did design the Brooklyn Nets logo. I think he's getting pretty good.
Can we talk about how terrible their presentation was? http://tidal.com/us I felt like the bare minimal of thought was put into it. Having the artists stand their through the speech. The word for word powerpoint.
The whole thing didn't leave me with a lot of confidence despite the big name artists on stage.
Despite all of that I'll still give a try.
On top of the obvious interface design issues, my main problem with this is that now there's yet another service where a portion of the market will need to subscribe to gain access to a select set of artists. Instead of having one central one and one monthly subscription you need 3 or 4 to get a wide variety. The same thing is happening with SVOD in Australia, several players are getting exclusive content deals and its making them all effectively worthless since they have 1 or 2 big shows and lots of crap. Long live Spotify
Also, trying it out out of curiosity and its a pretty underwhelming.
Its is interesting how unpolished it feels. It really feels like a lazy Spotify. Its small things : despite being similar its more difficult to navigate, text padding is off, cut-off icons, the on-boarding tour not very helpful, radio feature is buried and also not great, poor empty states, and I personally can't tell the difference with the hifi.
They want $20 a month for their hi-fi streaming. No thanks. http://tidal.com/us
Aside from the obvious problem with the design that this is thread is about, I think it's pretty naive to write off the app just because of the price.
There is a huge market of people who seriously care about music quality, and are more than willing to pay the extra 10 bucks over Spotify. It's far too early to say whether this will be enough to make the app successful, but genuine hi-fi streaming is a substantial selling point, even though many people seem to think $20 is some sort of unbelievable price to pay for proper quality music.
Not sure I'd call the market of those who are dissatisfied with Spotify Premium's 320kbps and are willing to pay twice that much "huge". If there was it would be fairly easy for someone like Spotify to flip the switch on higher bitrate streams and they would have done it a while ago.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. By huge, I didn't mean mass-market, take over the world huge, I just meant enough for Tidal to be potentially sustainable. It's definitely true about Spotify, but I wouldn't assume that they haven't done anything because they've tested and proven it, more likely that there's just never been any pressure. Just a theory though :)
While I agree there's a sustainable market there (it's Sonos bread and butter after all), if there's one thing TIDAL folks look for is mass market.
Overall, the video announcement is extremely tone-deaf and out of touch with reality. Given the economic constraints and intense competition in this market, I give it less than a year for TIDAL to become a huge flop.
I don't think it's naive at all. Maybe I'm cheap, but price is usually my initial method of judgement for a product. Probably why I won't be getting the $17,000 gold apple watch. It may be more naive to jump onto a high-priced service without proper research about the product.
That being said, I tested out their hi-fi streaming and could hear a bit of difference. However, that difference was definitely not worth me paying double what I already pay for Spotify premium. I suggest spending $15 on an app called Boom. Getting the right EQ on 320 songs from spotify does a world of difference.
Also, I'm genuinely curious about the huge market of audiophiles. What percentage of subscription-based music listeners are considered hi-fi junkies?
I think this is totally fair, you make a good argument. By huge I didn't mean mass market huge, but enough to make a product worthwhile. I doubt it'll have anywhere near the splash that Jay-Z and co are hoping for, but that's not really a surprise to anyone.
Spotify is the better product, both in terms of functionality and mass appeal, but I think a lot of the hate directed towards Tidal is regarding who made it, rather than what it is.
But cheers for the response though, always good to hear the other side :)
Tony, I just wanted to say thanks for suggesting Boom. Jaw is currently on the floor.
As an app, it's gorgeous. Smooth installation, onboarding and a very very clean UI.
Then the difference to my sound is night and day. I can't stop turning it off/on to hear the changes.
Glad I could help :)
The vast majority of listeners do not have the equipment (electronic or biological) to detect the difference between 320 and lossless music.
Even claimed audiophiles have been tested and they can't even tell the difference (they guessed which was which like 50% of the time, no better than random) with good headphones.
Furthermore the bandwidth necessary is MUCH higher meaning it's unrealistic to use while on the go or you will destroy your data plan.
It's marketing bullshit.
That's definitely a good point that the physical different, even self-claimed experts, would hear isn't even substantial. But the psychological difference of knowingly paying for quality is what would turn people to this product.
As for the bandwidth problem, has this been proven to be a problem yet from Tidal users? Not saying that you're wrong, as it would make sense, but just to substantiate your point with proof before calling BS.
higher bitrate is going to end with larger files, so it does have the potential to be an issue for streaming. They have settings to dictate the quality based on when streaming mobile, streaming on wifi, and the saved for offline version.
re: the two formats being indistinguishable its not that straight forward. Depends on how well the original recording was mixed.
Theres a $10 tier, Its their default actually. Also, why is it so hard for people to grasp that unlimited music is worth more than $10/mo?
Probably because unlimited HD movies and tv shows are $8/mo.
Calm down George
This will work wonders for Spotify! Not only Tidal make it obvious they have no creative drive behind the star-struck team, but they're essentially saying Spotify got it spot-on... It'll be interesting to see how this develops but I'm sticking with Spotify!
I didnt know Hov was a designer.
Anyway, I have no problem with the price. $20 is really not that bad considering how much music I stream on a daily basis. Plus, now I can put this DAC and Grados to good use!
*Edit: Lets also not forget that Spotify's UI only recently started to get polished — and they've been around since 2006.